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8 Tips for Responding to an Unsatisfactory Evaluation

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Each year the ACSA Member Assistance & Legal Support Team, under the direction of Member Support Program Director Joanne Godfrey, works with 800-plus members. One of the issues that members call about is having received an unsatisfactory evaluation. Member Assistance Advocates John Almond, Sharon Dezutti, Joe Jones, Janet Morey, Gary Rutherford, Bill Tschida and Lloyd Wamhof offer tips on responding to a less than satisfactory evaluation.

1. Make sure you clearly understand the identified areas of unsatisfactory performance stated in the evaluation.

2. If, after meeting with your supervisor and discussing the evaluation, you feel the evaluation isn’t accurate, take the time to respond in writing.

3. Keep your response factual, precise, professional and focused; do not pass blame or engage in lengthy explanations.

4. State the facts, as you see them, about each identified area of unsatisfactory performance.

5. Remember that emotional responses reflect poorly on you — not your evaluator.

6. Your response must be placed in your personnel file along with the evaluation. You have 10 working days to respond to the evaluation. Don’t miss out on this opportunity.

7. Being critical of your evaluating supervisor as part of your response will only make the situation worse.

8. Don’t refuse to sign the evaluation because you don’t like it; that changes nothing and can cause unnecessary confrontation. By signing you are acknowledging receipt, not agreement.

If you have questions about the process of responding to a negative evaluation, reach out to the ACSA Member Assistance and Legal Support Team for assistance and advice by going to www.acsa.org/legalsupport. Fill out the request form and one of the advocates will contact you within 24 hours.

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